urgent advice please imac 27"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by fynearts, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. fynearts macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2009
    Hi ... i have taken my imac 27" in to the mac shop because it was experiencing a black screen - originally intermittent flashing to the last two weeks of blacking out every 15 minutes ... the monitor attached to the computer was working fine whenever the computer went black. so all is well with the HD.

    it was confirmed in the shop that all is well with HD. they thought it was the fan ... and now they are saying its the graphics card which cannot be replaced? upon questioning i am told that things dont last longer than 5 years and they cannot replace it ????/

    i just cant get my head around this ... it cannot possibly be so? the machine is a 2010 model and is very very well looked after -r egular shop visits to reset and updates, etc. can someone please advise ???
  2. oscarodas macrumors regular

    May 7, 2013
    Sydney Australia
    I guess you'll have to bake the graphics card, I did it a few years ago on my iMac 27 2011, and the machine is still going strong.
  3. fynearts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2009
    i dont know what that means apart from what it sounds like ! but i dont think the mac shop will do that and in researching it online it seems a bit hit and miss ? ...
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Sadly, with apple soldering stuff on the logic board, and making it more of a disposable commodity this is the end result. I will say that I'm not familiar with the a 2010 model, so I don't know what's replaceable with that. I'll defer to the other members who are more familiar. Not for nothing but you got 8 years out of the iMac. That's not a short time, but I totally empathize with your plight and that really doesn't help you now.
  5. fynearts, Oct 31, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018

    fynearts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2009
    Thank you maflynn .... it IS sad that 'top of the range' 'quality' mac is not expected to last longer than 5 years. i cant believe that - why would i keep buying a Mac and not a PC every 5-7 years? (I DO Love a Mac) just quietly my laptop (mac) has been going for 10 years but i dont work it as hard as i did the 27". i am picking the machine up today with a crappy graphics card and apparently one fan that has 'issues' which is why, i am told, the card may have been compromised. The 'problems' sound right to me but the solution does not.
  6. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Nonsense. Lots of 2010 iMacs are still going strong including mine.

    OTOH, it is 8 years old. Components do go bad. Ideally, the hard drive should have been replaced a few years ago with an SSD—this lowers internal temperatures significantly. If you still have a spinner in there, the graphics card may have gone bad but it wasn’t the cause.

    The question os to have it repaired or not? Price, availability of parts, convenience, the apps you run etc. They all play a part.

    I would be looking for a 2009–2010 used iMac that has had the HDD replaced at some point with an SSD and the thermal sensor. They’re out there and prices have been coming down since these cannot run Mojave.

    The size of the SSD isn’t so important since new SSDs are pretty inexpensive and very easily replaced once done. A thermal sensor for a 2009–10 is $4 or so in case someone was using an app to control the fans manually. Heck, the optical drive heat sensor on yours can be used in place of the HDD temp sensor on another.

    or you can decide that 8 years was a good run and it’s time for something newer.

    The newer the used iMac, the less time the HDD has had to cook the insides—this includes those with Fusion drives. An SSD model has been running cooler from the start.

    Now I need to replace mine since I need to run Mojave. It’s not for sale as I’ve promised it already.
  7. fynearts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2009
    --- Post Merged, Nov 2, 2018 ---
    thanks for weighing in mikehalloran - YES! I can't believe they don't last longer - mine is very well looked after and looks like new but sadly this 'thing' happened with it. Yes the HDD was replaced in 2013 under the Apple Seagate replacement program. but it wasn't an SSD. Seems there is nothing wrong with the hard drive.

    the update is that the shop tells me its the graphics card and(?) its not the fan as originally thought but the sensor is causing machine to shut down. I sincerely don't think its the graphics card because the screen does not get distorted or have stripes or anything like that - it just goes black after 15 minutes - the last two weeks it was constant.

    it has a second monitor attached and that keeps going and the computer is working as I could keep working on the extra monitor. however if left to go to sleep (both computer and monitor) I could press escape and it woke up allowing me to work for another 15 minutes.

    UPDATE: I asked the shop to do a factory reset on the computer and so far - day 2 and its running great! though everyone in the know including Mac shop are shaking their heads advising IT WILL fail again - just a matter of time.

    what I now wish to know is ... why didn't the shop suggest replacing the sensor and why are they continually saying graphics card. ? I will ask them ...

    I did ask about the SSD but apparently my machine (considered to be 'vintage' now) is a model that won't take an SSD. This throwaway, forcing your hand to upgrade mentality is so frustrating. thank you to all for your time and advice.
  8. mikehalloran, Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018

    mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Absolute utter nonsense.

    Again, I'm typing from a 2010 with a 2T Samsung 850 EVO inside that I installed 3 years ago when the SSD cost nearly $1K. BTW, I did it one-handed. Currently, a 2T 860 EVO lists for $359 ($169 for 1T).

    To do the same now: either the Samsung above or a Micron 1100 for $287, Bracket $12 (not required but highly recommended), used optical drive sensor $4. The HDD sensor is thrown away during the process and must be replaced with something — a used optical sensor works fine.

    On a 2009–10 only, it is possible to forgo the bracket and sensor by using double-stick foam tape to attach the SSD to the HDD and leaving the Seagate thermo sensor cable plugged into the dead drive but that reduces airflow around the SSD.

    If your graphics card is on its way out, the heat from that HDD is what killed it. I'm about 100% certain, give or take 0%.
  9. fynearts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2009
    lol to give or take ! ... yes ok ... so do you think it really is the graphics card? I mean I am not getting any indications on the screen of pixel loss or streaky images etc .... or am I being too literal ie 'graphic's card. appreciate the great info ... thanks again !
  10. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
  11. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2018
    The Sillie Con Valley
    Before you do that, reset the NV RAM. Do it 3 times in a row.

    It's a Hail Mary but if that fixes it—and it does sometimes—the motherboard will have to be pulled and the NV RAM battery replaced. With the motherboard out, nearly all the labor to replace the HDD is done also so make sure to have an SSD installed instead. 2009–10 were the only years the NV RAM battery was mounted on the back of the motherboard. A battery that's too low can corrupt the NV RAM and cause a black screen on startup.

    You will really enjoy having fast startup and cool running with the fans kicking in on only the hottest days.

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10 October 30, 2018